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Ever wondered why certain days this past year were so hazy you couldn't see the mountains? Where did the haze come from? These activities and resources will help students explore forest health and understand what happens to our environment when forests are unhealthy or destroyed by wildfire. This lesson will inform students on the 2021 NACD poster contest theme, "Healthy Forests-Healthy Communities" where students design a poster to communicate a message about their environment.

Introduction Phenomena: Why are the skies hazy?

1. What was the source of recent haze and poor air quality across the country?

2. What do you think contributed to forests burning?

3. Does wildfire impact human health?

Presentation

Activity: What is the value of my tree?

Follow the instructions to investigate the value of a tree in your back yard or school

Materials

Instructions

Find a tree on your school property (or home) to use for this activity.  The i-tree program will estimate the amount of carbon dioxide and pollution it removes from the air, as well as the amount of stormwater it can help mitigate. For larger groups, students can pair up or have a different volunteer collect data for each question. Questions 3-10 coincide with the i-tree questionnaire which can be filled out simultaneously with the worksheet if you have internet access outside. Otherwise, re-enter information from the worksheet through the i-tree link above once back inside. Additional instructions on data collection can be found within the i-tree online questionnaire.  

 

Student Worksheet

Videos

Colorado Forests (7:27)

Questions:

1. What are 2 reasons big fires are more common?

2. What was the consequence of total fire suppression?

3. What are ways people are trying to improve forest health?

Forest  Restoration (4:32)

1. How are the people in this video working to prevent big fires?​

2. What is the difference between low and high-intensity fire?

3. How is some fire beneficial to forests?

4. What forest benefits are the people in the video trying to protect through management?